Written by / 9/07/2017 / No comments / , , , ,

THURSDAY NIGHT REVIEW OF THE BIG SCREEN 'IT'

Both the 1990's IT miniseries and the abundance of recent reboot trailers must have left an impression: the now famously established red balloon of Pennywise the Clown flies over the dark blue New Line Cinema logo before even the opening credits are shown...

Either way, here's a film that, within the first minute, sets up the main teenage boy character during the 1980's. On his bedroom wall is a poster of GREMLINS, and when all his buddies are together they do seem extremely Spielbergian. Meanwhile, this is a Stephen King adaptation, and the last project combining Steven and Stephen was STRANGER THINGS so, who knows, maybe cable binge-viewers will think that show inspired all this — but even they should realize that IT is a lot tighter and has way more rhyme, rhythm and purpose.

ITSpookScore: ****
While the youngster's dialogue is ridiculously over-sexed and mundane, seeming written by adults who wish they knew that much back then, the film's initial awkward stage grows up quick. While Tim Curry's original Pennywise was just plain weird, the rebooted clown lurks more in the shadows up-front and, as already spoiled in the trailers, has a way of quickly rushing forward for the kill, along with an explosion of music, that's seen in most horror movies (highlighted in every trailer) lately...

Only this beast has layers, taking different forms to fit within the five boys' and one girl's worst fears while the chaser is always the same, and the clown never wears out its nightmarish welcome. Most important (for this genre) is a sort of lurking "cursed vibe" that films like THE SHINING and THE EXORCIST have: No matter what's happening on screen, there's an overall feeling of being watched and stalked, even before the inevitable pursuit.

Leading to more than one climax and featuring side-villains, from white trash bullies to parents so terrible a killer clown may seem welcome. But everything connects as a whole, and flows together nicely as this small town gang called The Losers are fleshed out both together and alone. We'll have to see if forty-year-old's during modern times, with cell phones ready to snap a picture of anything, will be as effectively shocked and spooked as these kids were. Because that's CHAPTER TWO.
Television to Movie Theaters: A Tale of Two Pennywise Clowns... First Tim Curry and now Bill Skarsgård
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